Leverage an Event Platform at Your In-Person Conference
Have conferences changed since before Covid-19?
Social events felt the effects of Covid-19 on a profound level. The first thing to go when the pandemic hit was in-person events, which shifted how we interact in a business setting. Virtual conferences became the norm, and event organizers were able to host events from the safety of their homes.
Before the pandemic changed our lives in years past, most people didn’t think twice about attending an in-person conference. Many people had never worn face masks before, let alone worried about standing six feet apart. Event organizers had to find a way for their attendees to communicate, maintain their connections, and facilitate new ones. The tech world, always quick on its feet, identified the opportunity to enhance the virtual event experience. The event industry adjusted and discovered a whole new world of connection. And these plans expanded beyond the United States to countries across the world.
While this new virtual gathering option fine-tunes itself, the world is beginning to heal. Many events are returning to in-person, but it’s not the same industry we knew in 2019. As a society, we are different, and we are stronger. Attendees are more adaptable and tech-savvy. They are now accustomed to connecting virtually, and event organizers can utilize these skills to elevate their virtual conference platform.
Are in-person conferences here to stay?
In short, yes, in-person events are here for good. As long as people are able, they will gather in person. No man is an island, even virtually. But with the aforementioned developing tech skills, combined with innovative event technology, scrapping everything we have learned is an unwise move. An in-person event platform has the potential to take your trade show or annual meeting to the next level.
Hybrid events are the way of the future. They combine the best of both worlds, utilizing uniquely stellar attributes of each event type to create an unforgettable experience for people. Providing a hybrid option with an attendee app will open previously unimaginable doors for connection.
You can use a virtual event platform solely for ticketing and registration. You can also enhance communication options with your attendees by utilizing an app they can refer to while at the event or if they choose to stay home last minute. The possibilities are endless! Read below for a deep dive into using an event management platform to make your in-person conferences a success.
Build awareness and drive registrations
A fantastic event landing page can do wonders for your registration numbers. Creating this starts and ends with a versatile event platform that provides all the customization items you need to make the initial touchpoint of your event stand out. Establish your brand right out of the gate and provide your attendees with everything they need to know about your event.
Best practices here are employing an incredible website design and focusing on clarity. For example, it’s essential to have a distinctive logo and place it front and center. You want anyone who finds your landing page to know what the event is about and who is hosting it. Create a seamless experience for prospective registrants by placing your registration link in a prominent place. Your goal is to have all participants look back and think, “Wow, that was easy.”
Easily collect and process payments
While on the topic of creating a simple experience for attendees, that includes payment processing. Be sure to get clear with your event platform about that procedure and test it out on your own before the page goes live. If you cannot test the entire process without paying, their customer experience team will likely be able to provide you with screenshots of how that cadence appears step by step.
Anything you can do to minimize work on the registrants’ end is the name of the game. Including their receipt information in the confirmation email is also an excellent way to have all of their information in one place. When they arrive at the in-person conference, your attendees will have everything they need on their phones.
Manually checking off lists with a pen can get confusing and messy. When event organizers use a check-in tool with an event platform app, that process is majorly simplified. Best practices are to assign a QR code to each attendee and use that to check them in upon arrival. Some in-person event platforms provide an option to include a photo of your vaccine card for events requiring vaccination proof to attend.
Having all of your attendees' information within an app keeps everyone on the same page. If you have multiple volunteers or staff working your event, data can be available to all staff members when an attendee checks in. This process eliminates the back and forth and gets everyone on the same page.
Easily manage attendees
When event organizers use an attendee app for an in-person conference, the opportunities for engagement expand significantly. Attendees can customize their notifications within the app to get real-time updates with event-related information. The admin can program announcements straight to everyone's smartphones rather than wrangling hundreds of event attendees with a single microphone.
The other bonus of an in-person event app is additionally for your attendees. How many times do in-person attendees have to double-check where their session is or the event location's address? The answer is, many times! Make it so they don’t have to find a physical schedule or check with a staff member. Having all of that data in one place is a game-changer. Especially if any information happens to change at the last minute, being able to update your event app immediately to prevent confusion. An event platform can also provide the tools to send out a survey to attendees after your large event concludes.
All event communication is in one place
It’s easy to feel scattered at an in-person event. There are more senses engaged and more opportunities for distraction. Since most of us haven’t engaged in person quite as much in the past two years, holding attention can be slightly more difficult today. The ability to review all of your interactions after the event is over will be helpful for your attendees. It removes the fear of forgetting a name or detail a month later that they might want to mention in their follow-up email and creates more opportunities for generating more leads and better relationships amongst one another.
Event communication can range from pop-up notifications to private chat conversations. The great thing about having one app tool that everyone can use is that all of that information is stored in one place. Event organizers can review engagement trends and search for a connection they made whose name they can’t remember.
Having all of your interaction receipt data is also helpful for attendees. They can look up connections made, review conversations and catch up on public chats they might have missed. A robust event platform takes this need into account and will provide clear avenues for communication without having more than one app or tab open.
Provide engagement opportunities
Virtual vs. in-person vs. hybrid events; each type has different engagement advantages. An in-person interaction might feel more organic and energetic, while virtually, you don’t have to wear a face mask. (Of course, wearing a face mask for in-person events is entirely up to the event organizer.) An event platform helps bring the best aspects of each event type together.
An event management tool melds these two together so that no interaction is left behind. If you couldn’t find the person you wanted to engage with in person, you can search for them on the event management platform and reach out from there. And if you prefer to see a speaker in person, you can utilize the event platform tool to get the exact details of when and where they are speaking. The best practice for using both is to be open and flexible.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Very few pleasures match the joy of knowing you are helping our planet. It is easy to be consumed by fear about global warming, but that heaviness lessens when you consciously make eco-friendly choices. Utilizing an event platform tool at your in-person event is an earth-friendly option. You would be surprised at how much paper you will save with a tool that provides more information than a printer ever could. The list of benefits stretches farther and farther, including the health and well-being of the world. Stepping into this trend has lasting and positive consequences. It’s a perk that will keep on giving.
Event organizers save tons of paper by using a check-in app. Virtual tickets remove the need for a paper ticket, and having efficient tech tools like this at your disposal reduces the need for as many staff members. Furthermore, simply having the option for attendees to stay home and view a live stream on the attendee app cuts significant travel emissions. Knowing that the planet will eventually thank the tech world for this service is gratifying.
Why you need an event platform in your tech stack
Transitioning from virtual conferences to in-person and hybrid events doesn’t mean we must forget the valuable resources discovered during the pandemic. Growth and innovation never look the same year after year, which applies to where we find ourselves now. It might not be solely virtual anymore, and that’s ok! Forward is the only way to go.
As the world’s stage changes daily, business professionals continually find clear communication invaluable. Facilitating seamless conversations isn’t easy, but it can be made simpler with an event platform. Keeping all of your event information and attendee information in one place allows you to quickly access essential details and help the rhythm of your event flow smoothly.
Using an event platform is a must for all event organizers for every type of event. It is crucial for the planning, execution, and post-event process. Who doesn’t want to lighten their workload with optimized tech assistance? Your staff and your attendees will thank you for it.
Learn more about how Accelevents' event platform can work for you at your in-person or hybrid conference
Whether going full-blast back into in-person events or keeping a virtual component to your event, Accelevents' robust event management platform is your solution. Easy to set up in minutes, and backed by a support team that answers your questions in seconds, not minutes, you can be assured that you'll have full control of end-to-end event management. Reach out today and get a demo on this amazing platform.